7.0/10
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176 user 65 critic

Affliction (1997)

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Wade Whitehouse
Brigid Tierney ... Jill Whitehouse
... Gordon LaRiviere
... Jack Hewitt (as Jim True)
... Chick Ward
... Frankie Lacoy (as Chris Heyerdahl)
... Alma Pittman
Janine Theriault ... Hettie Rogers
... Lillian Horner
Paul Stewart ... Mr. Horner
... Margie Fogg
... Nick Wickham
Sean McCann ... Evan Twombley
Sheena Larkin ... Lugene Brooks
Penny Mancuso ... Woman Driver
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Storyline

Boston University History professor Rolfe Whitehouse tells of the events leading up to the unexplained but not totally surprising disappearance of his older troubled brother, Wade Whitehouse. Wade, Rolfe and their sister Lena grew up in small town Lawford in upstate New Hampshire, where Wade and their parents, Glen and Sally Whitehouse, still lived. Wade was the town's police officer, in addition to having a multitude of side jobs directed his way by businessman and town selectman Gordon LaRiviere, in order to supplement his meager income. Wade was living on the edge emotionally. Long divorced from his since married second ex-wife, Lillian Horner, who moved to the city following the divorce, Wade had only infrequent visitation rights to his and Lillian's adolescent daughter, Jill Whitehouse, who seemed to love her father only because he was her father, but who seemed to see their visits solely as obligations rather than wants. Because of the animosity in his and Lillian's break-up, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wade Whitehouse is frightened to death of following in his father's footsteps.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den jagede  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,979, 3 January 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,302,154, 16 May 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(fantasy sequences)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Coburn came out of retirement to act in the film. He would later win an Oscar for his performance. See more »

Goofs

Wade gets the two beers out of the refrigerator. They are already open. See more »

Quotes

Rolfe Whitehouse: [Last lines] The historical facts are known by everyone. All of Lawford, all of New Hampshire, some of Massachusetts. Facts do not make history. Our stories, Wade's and mine, describe the lives of the boys and men for thousands of years: boys who were beaten by their fathers, whose capacity for love and trust was crippled almost at birth, men whose best hope for connection with other human beings lay in detachment, as if life were over. It's how we keep from destroying in turn our own children ...
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Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: When in Rome (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Open the Door to Your Heart
Written by Ned Miller
Performed by Bonnie Guitar
Used by permission of Dandelion Music Co.
Courtesy of Bear Family Records
[Plays in the bar while Wade talks to his friend and hears the people at the nearby table gossiping about him.]
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User Reviews

 
What did you expect?
23 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

A walk in the park, a fine romance, a Indy Jones and the Last Crusade. Come on, a combination of Russell Banks and Paul Shrader, the author who explores a school bus accident and the writer/director from Taxi Driver, or The Comfort of Strangers. Did you really expect a happy ending? The film is a dark side vision of Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool, which Paul Newman and Robert Benton turned into a tale of redemption on screen in that same part of the world. No redemption here. As Wade's brother's final voice-over lets you know that Wade is still out there, reliving his father's life, you are relieved to be permitted to leave this claustrophobic world.

Painful scene after painful scene are piled on each other, none more so than the painful rejection of Wade by his little girl. Children go through periods where their parents are embarrassments to them, but in this case, it is more of a fear than a shame of Wade that makes her want to be in her mother's arms.

This is a great film of uncompromising realism. It is a modern Jude The Obscure, but at least you were allowed to see Jude when he had hope and some happiness, and at the end he simply wore himself out. At the end of Affliction, all that you know is that Wade is out there in the world, his angers banked.

The film works because of Nolte's performance. Coburn has an easier job, but he carries it off. The sub-plots mean little, but show us Wade/Nolte in a field of action, and demonstrate that it is not only his personal life that is a mess.

Odd that Banks' The Sweet Hereafter locale was moved from upstate New York to British Columbia, and this film of bare rock, flinty New Hampshire was made in Canada also.


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